The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement reported Friday that 100 Arkansas school districts have 14-day COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents. Of those districts, 12 have rates of 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents, or more than 1 percent of residents.
ACHI posted the information to its website as part of a relaunch of its local-level COVID-19 data reporting, which the independent health-policy center temporarily discontinued in February because of reduced testing rates.
“Arkansas has lost control of the virus,” ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said in a statement. “With new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging, and with parents preparing to send their children back to the classroom, ACHI believes it is important for local leaders and parents to be aware of the risk levels in their communities. That’s why we have re-launched our reporting of COVID-19 data by school district, community and ZIP code. Unfortunately, testing rates are still low, so please note that the numbers of infections reported underrepresent the actual risk in each community.”
ACHI identified infection rates by analyzing data received July 26 from the Arkansas Department of Health. The infections are among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of the school districts and are not specific to school employees and students, the organization said. Known infections include confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the Department of Health.